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12th Annual Millbrook Horse Trials to be held August 2nd to 5th
August 2, 2012 - August 5, 2012
This year’s Millbrook Horse Trials is sure to be a special one as members of the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team are slated to join the hundreds of equestrians for three days of competition beginning Aug. 2 on Bangall-Amenia Road across from Coole Park Farm. The horse trials benefit the Dutchess Land Conservancy.
While MHT typically attracts top riders from all over the world, this year’s event is expected to draw a particularly exceptional field of competitors. “We are expecting many members of the U.S. Olympic Eventing team to travel directly from London to Millbrook to compete,” said committee member Beth Ledy. The Eventing competition at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games concludes just a few days before the start of MHT.
For those of you who have never seen a horse trials, it’s quite an impressive spectacle. Eventing is considered the triathalon of the equestrian world as it includes all three equine disciplines – dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. Event horses and riders must demonstrate discipline, courage, athleticism and stamina as they negotiate a complex course they have never seen before.
MHT provides all levels of competition recognized by the U.S. Eventing Association – from Beginner-Novice to Advanced level. MHT is the only event in the Northeastern United States that offers an Advanced division, the highest level of the sport. Obstacles at the Advanced level are approximately four feet in height, ditches can be nearly 12 feet wide and, in the cross-country phase, are jumped at a full gallop. And what’s best, spectators can position themselves at just about any point along the cross-country course to get an up-close view of horse and rider flying over a jump.
Some of the best views of the cross country phase are around the water complex. As part of this year’s new “WaterView” program, you can purchase a ticket for $35 and get a box lunch, a prime seat above water jumps and expert commentary on the horses, riders and obstacles from a professional rider. Transportation to and from the observation tent will be provided.
“The water complex is one of the most exciting areas on the cross-country course,” said international event rider and MHT President Louise Meryman. “Jumping into and out of water demands bravery, athleticism and quick thinking on the part of both horse and rider.” The newly redesigned water complex is the centerpiece of the course for all levels. Many of the jumps in and around the water complex have been hand-carved and feature a winsome collection of animals including a hound chasing a fox, woodchucks and an owl.
Last year’s event drew a record 3,000 spectators and riders and more than 500 horses, and organizers expect to set another record this year. There is no admission fee for spectators, and food is available on site.
For more information please visit http://www.millbrookhorsetrials.com.